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Reduce the Effects of Your Company's Waste on the Environment

Facilities waste management has recently been the focus of organizations looking for ways to lessen their environmental impact.

Approximately 7.6 million tons of waste are produced annually by commercial and industrial facilities, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It can be difficult to effectively and economically manage all that waste. Therefore, facility managers must devise strategies to lessen their structures' waste. Fortunately, they have many options at their disposal to accomplish this.

This article recommends three crucial actions: performing routine waste audits, examining your facility's current waste management strategy, and lowering the amount of waste in landfills.

Understanding waste and facility management

The overall efficiency of a company's facility management is closely related to how it manages its waste. A facility can save money, lessen its environmental impact, and enhance its reputation using good waste management techniques.

Understanding the waste types produced at a facility is the first step in efficient waste management. Waste can be categorized as either solid or liquid, and each kind of waste management challenge differs.

Solid waste: The EPA defines solid waste as any trash, refuse, or other materials that have been discarded as a result of commercial, industrial, mining, and agricultural operations. Facilities must plan to properly dispose of this waste because improper management can harm the environment.

Liquid waste: Large amounts of liquid waste are produced by municipal and industrial facilities, including sewage, stormwater runoff, and treated wastewater. Hazardous pollutants that could contaminate water supplies and harm the environment can be found in liquid waste.

After a facility has identified the main waste categories it produces, the next step is to create a waste management strategy. Facility managers can reduce waste and enhance the environmental performance of their buildings by implementing these five tips.

Conduct regular waste audits

You can concentrate on developing solutions by pinpointing where your facility generates the most waste. Start by identifying and dealing with the underlying causes of the trash at your facility. Utilizing more recycled materials is one specific change that can significantly impact.

You can monitor your progress and ensure that your efforts are positively affected by conducting regular audits. According to many facilities, waste audits are one of the most efficient ways to lessen an environmental impact.

Analyze your current approach

Examine your current waste management strategy by taking into account the following:

  1. The kind and volume of waste generated.

  2. The origin of the trash

  3. Managing waste has financial and environmental costs.

  4. The potential waste reduction options.

Keeping these in mind, facility managers can create a waste management strategy specific to their facilities. Let's say you want to lower the volume of paper waste your business generates. By switching to digital documentation and communication, you can achieve this. Although the change would require an upfront investment, it would ultimately result in cost savings.

Implement a waste-reduction plan

Implement a waste reduction plan after conducting an audit and evaluating your current waste management strategy. This plan should include specific goals and objectives, and methods for achieving those goals.

As was already mentioned, one solution might be to move to digital documentation and communication. The following may serve as alternative solutions:

  1. Setting up a program for recycling paper, plastic, and other materials.

  2. Putting in place a program for composting food waste

  3. Reusing: Using materials in new ways rather than discarding them.

There are numerous other ways to reduce waste; these are merely a few examples. Finding solutions that work for your facility is crucial.

Educate your employees

The success of your plan depends on informing your staff of the significance of waste reduction. Employees must know the plan's objectives, goals, and strategies.

Make sure to solicit feedback from the workforce regarding the plan. This will increase the likelihood of successful implementation by ensuring everyone is on board. Invested Employees who are supported are more likely to go above and beyond to cut waste.

Consider a scenario where you want to use technology to reduce waste. In that case, teach your staff how to use the newest technology to cut waste. Please encourage them to attend waste reduction workshops and seminars.

Monitor your progress

You must track your progress to ensure your waste reduction plan is effective. Please keep track of the waste produced and the expenses incurred to manage it. Conduct regular waste audits to monitor your progress and stay on track with your goals.

If you are not making progress, it is essential to figure out why and adjust your plan accordingly. Changes in processes or technology can occasionally assist you in achieving your objectives, while other times, they might make adjustments more necessary.

For instance, you might need to step up your efforts to recycle or compost if you can't reduce the amount of waste you produce. Overall, the success of your waste reduction plan depends on tracking your progress and updating your facility management approach.

Enjoy the results of your labor.

Although it can seem impossible, waste reduction is attainable. You can achieve accurate results by conducting a waste production audit, putting a waste reduction plan into place, and educating your staff about the value of waste reduction. And don't forget to keep track of your progress—this is crucial to a successful waste management strategy.

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